Do We Really Need To Monetize Our Blogs?

I don’t smoosh my blog with ads. I like it that way. It’s a design thing that I think works well with what I’m trying to bring out in blogging…which is basically myself. When I put ads into the equation, it doesn’t really add up. Don’t get me wrong, I like money. I like to have a lot of money. I like to bum around doing nothing too. So why wouldn’t I like to bum around, write a couple of words and get paid for basically nothing that I did? You couldn’t say no to that so why wouldn’t I? The answer is simple.

Because no one would buy nothing.

The way I understand it is that advertisements you put up are dependent on the content that you have. So for a lot of people, it makes perfect sense. If you’re a food blog, you’re going to expect ads for food stuff. If you’re a travel or photography blog, you’re going to expect ads specifically for the same resource. Same goes with specific blogs for blogging or the internet or even erotic porn blogs. It makes sense to have ads for blogs like that. Why? Because at the end of it, your readers will be the ones that come back for the content that you have and while a large portion will ignore whatever advertisements you put down, that minuscule niche you carved will click on it and that amounts to the regular income you will earn and not just random clicks from readers duped into believing that it was a valid link.

So where do I come into this? Nowhere. My blog is a personal blog. At best, it’s also a commentary blog. It says so in 9rules and as such cannot be contested unless I say otherwise. Even so, both types are dependent on my own personal thoughts and opinions about any random thing, including this topic. So who are my target readers? People who like food? People who like sex? People who like sex with food? The answer simply goes back to “just people”.

I have no target niche to aim for. Whatever I write, builds up from the fact that I write simply for myself first and whoever bothers to take notice second. I expect those that do come back to read whatever I have wrote to be people who share the same sentiments on whatever I put down, which given my unusual sense of perception, to be in numbers that can be counted with one hand.

Given that knowledge, do I really expect to make any kind of earnings from my blog? Not a damn cent. Whatever that makes my blog special, isn’t going to be something that I can take to the bank. So regardless of the ads that you will see on my blog, they aren’t going to scream something to be clicked on or as sponsors you can count on. They are simply there because “why not?”

Yet despite all that, why do you suppose other people smoosh their blogs with ads if they have no content or niches to cater to? Do we really need to monetize our blogs when we don’t even have a reason to blog? What do you think?

17 thoughts on “Do We Really Need To Monetize Our Blogs?

  1. I agree with you 100%. If you don’t intend to monetize your blog, don’t even bother. And people would be happy to read an ad-free blog. But if you want to make money, create a niche, do it all the way and not half-heartedly 🙂

  2. What are your feelings on other kinds of ads, such as Amazon ads? You can link to books you really like and books you have read. It’s a way to “monetize” your blog, but you don’t have to put these kinds of ads all over your site. Maybe in a post that references the book, or a kind of book review post.

    Do you think the amazon book ads are just as bad as the yahoo / google / text link ads? As intrusive or less intrusive?

  3. Sophia: What I don’t understand are people who expect money because they have a blog. It’s easy to see the misconceptions that money comes because people are good at what they do first. They have their readers and from there, their market. If people don’t even know what you are, how does it work then if it does at all?

    Nick: If you put say an Amazon ad on a single post about books out of many that aren’t books, you aren’t really maximizing potential now are you? Unless of course your focus on say books, then it’ll make perfect sense. Or even if you specialize on say, cooking then ads on cookbooks would make sense as well. If there is a point to the readers that says “I get why this ad is here”, it makes much more sense than blogs who simply have ads because they think it’ll get them money.

  4. With Amazon, you can create an amazon aStore and link to that, which I don’t think is so bad. You list your featured products or books you like. Putting a simple little text link in your sidebar isn’t much in the way of advertising, but still a way to earn some additional income, and introduce your readers to some of the real books or products you like.

    I don’t mind seeing releveant ads that integrate nicely with the content. Some content as you mention will spit out crap ads which are pretty useless.

    Your regular readers generally aren’t the ones that will notice the ads anyways. But people who search for on google or yahoo and hit your blog may not find what they’re looking for, and an ad may just help them on their way.

    Google wouldn’t be over $500 per share in the stock market if ads were not successful. 🙂

    I do hate seeing all these new spam blogs with millions of ads and useless, usually stolen content. But I am all for bloggers being able to make a living doing what they love, even if their income is ads. Just don’t go overboard. Don’t get greedy.

  5. Perhaps, its that miniscule hope that someone would by some offchance notice something interesting in the ad and click it. Or… there is a perceived trend that ads = cool. Hahaha thats unlikely actually.

    But yeah, it would make sense to place ads in niche blogs, but having them in blogs that talk about nothing at all, I wouldn’t expect much out of it.

    I personally think that people who run blogs in hopes of making a living out of it are in expectation of money for nothing. Sure they can say it ain’t easy to write “stuffs” everyday, to trawl for content everyday, but can we really say sitting around surfing the net constitutes as work. But I’m digressing and ranting instead.

  6. Nick: So what you’re saying is that you don’t have to have a specific niche to use Amazon? It can just be books that you recommend people buy and well…see where it goes from there?

    Keen: That might not be too far from the truth. That the trend might be more fashionable or just that people expect to get something out of nothing. I am old enough to remember when we didn’t want ads on our sites and would do anything to make sure its removed. How times have changed.

  7. i know this sounds mean, but i think blogs with ads, pop ups and heavily laden entry reviews are sell outs. and you know what is the classic cover up line? – “its my blog so i can do whatever i want with it.”

    it used to be that blogs are bits of expressions, bits of yourself. an online journal or diary where you can blabber out your peace and then resume life in reality. peppering it with ads is almost vulgar in this sense. as for blogs plastered with photos and reviews of everything a blogger encounters, well, sell out. ni sikit sikit ambik gambar, sikit sikit buat review.

    wait, the classic line comes now: suka hati la, since its their blog and they can do anything they want with it.

    brings a whole new meaning to the term, el cheapo.

  8. We are bombarded with advertising everywhere, and I’d much rather get the visitors and the comments than a few dollars. Blogs that are heavy with advertising, I just avoid.

  9. Philters: It gives a lost sense of what blogging was back in the old days before it got too commercialized.

    ChickyBabe: You and me both. What happened to the good ol days when we could just sit down and read what we liked without sifting through things we don’t really need?

  10. Some people use ads revenue as a way to measure how “successful” or “important” their blog are. The more money they make the more they feel good about their blog. They feel that their blog is worth something, so I’ve heard as I’ve ask this question before.

    So how do you measure your blog? Traffics? Incoming links? comments?

    Anyway keep doing what you feel like doing with your blog, I’ve subscribe to your feed and found myself keep coming back, so there must be something you are doing that works, at least for me.

    On another note, Amazon, books cover a wide range of topic (there is a book just about anything there is). I wish Amazon start rolling out contextual based advertising soon with their books

  11. Chibster: Good on you.

    Jibone: Making money from their blog to feel good about themselves. That’s a new perspective for me. I never thought of looking at it like that before. I measure the success of my blog depending on how many people return or at least click on the feeds to read everyday. Thanks for coming back to my blog, that’s really nice of you to do so. 🙂 I thought though based on what Nick said that you can choose what books you prefer with Amazon so that you can advertise that bunch. That’s much more selective than contextual based advertising.

  12. No,.. I’m actually “wishing” for Amazon to roll out it’s own “contextual based advertising” on their books 😉 the current Amazon associated program is just as you said selective 😉

  13. in the first place, why is there even a need to ‘measure’ the ‘success’ of one’s blog? take a step back and realise that it is just a blog. if a blog receives less traffic, does that make it unsuccessful? so what happens to an unsuccessful blog?

    sometimes i get this feeling that blogs are just egoistic popularity trips for some people. to them, blogging is a fad, and thus, a measurement of how popular they think they are.

    it disturbs me nonetheless to think that they need blogs with high traffic to feel good about themselves.

  14. I hate ads, we have everywhere ads: on tv, on the streets, in newspapers,
    online, just everywhere.
    So why we do have to place annoying ad scripts in “OUR” personal piece on web?
    I understand that people want to make money, but there’s nicer ways to place ads than in the middle of a post like problog.

  15. allow the bloggers to make some extra money through recommended products directly from within their blogs, and hopefully directing their readers to online retailers. As such, the respective blogger would receive a commission from any sales generated through referrals!

  16. Amazon affiliate gives you little money compared to AdSense clicks amount, atleast that’s what i see from my pages, if you consider monetization..
    Well, anyway, i agree that if your blog is “about life n stuff” it’s ok not to worry about monetization, ahoi!

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